American Excelsior Company, which manufactures biodegradable erosion control blankets in Norwalk, Ohio, has been cited for safety violations resulting in over $213k in penalties. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that an employee was injured after a machine continued running while the employee removed product build-up. OSHA fined the company for failing to implement a process for preventing machine activation during maintenance.

After receiving the citations, American Excelsior Company has 15 business days to either pay the fines and incorporate the safety precautions, ask for an informal conference, or challenge the decision.

Under the OSHA Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace. Below are summarized key points stated in the Act. For more information, see OSHA’s enforcement page.

  • Keep the workplace safe from identified hazards.
  • Comply with OSHA standards that are applicable to your workplace.
  • Keep tools and equipment maintained for safe use for employees.
  • Notify employees of potential dangers with the use of color codes, posters, labels, and signs.
  • Create and clearly implement safety procedures for your employees to follow.
  • Provide safety training to all workers.
  • Establish and enforce a written hazard communication program if hazardous chemicals are in the workplace.
  • Post the OSHA poster at a noticeable spot in the workplace to advise employees of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Keep records of all work related injuries.
  • If a work related death occurs, report it to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours. Report work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours.
  • Do not discriminate against any employee who chooses to exercise their rights under the OSHA Act.
  • Provide all employees (current and former) access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300).
  • Create an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to help reduce workplace injury.